Six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady has signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, saying he is embarking on a “new football journey”.
The 42-year-old quarterback who spent the first 20 years of his career with the New England Patriots announced his decision Friday in an Instagram post and thanked the Bucs for the opportunity.
The deal is worth $30m per season.
“Excited, humble and hungry … If there is one thing I have learned about football, it’s that nobody cares what you did last year or the year before that,” Brady wrote.
The signing comes three days after Brady announced on social media that he would not return to New England, ending his historic run with the Patriots.
He joins an offense that led the NFL in passing yards last season, featuring a pair of 1,000-yard receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, tight ends OJ Howard and Cameron Brate, and a young, developing running back in Ronald Jones.
What the Bucs didn’t have in 2019, when they went 7-9 and missed the playoffs for the 12th straight season was a quarterback who protected the football.
Brady, who turns 43 in August, will be counted on to change that.
The three-time league MVP is coming off what generally is regarded as the worst non-injury season of his career, throwing for 4,057 yards and 24 touchdowns against eight interceptions in his final season with the Patriots.
Still, New England won 12 games before a sputtering offense was held to 13 points in a first-round playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans.
Jameis Winston, meanwhile, was a turnover machine with Tampa Bay, leading the league with 5,109 passing yards while also becoming the first “30-30” player in NFL history with 33 TD passes and 30 interceptions.
Opponents returned a league-record seven interceptions for touchdowns last season. Winston also lost five fumbles, with opponents converting his combined 35 turnovers into 112 points.
“It’s not a talent issue, it’s a performance issue … turning the ball over,” Arians said after the season, summing up why the Bucs, who scored a franchise-best 458 points in 2019, were unable to end their long playoff drought.
Elsewhere, a person familiar with the deal says the Atlanta Falcons have agreed to a one-year deal with three-time Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley,
The person told the Associated Press about the agreement on Friday on condition of anonymity because the deal will not be official until Gurley passes a physical. The league isn’t allowing players to report to new teams immediately for those physicals during the coronavirus pandemic.
Gurley will be making a return to the state of Georgia. He was a standout at the University of Georgia, rushing for more than 3,000 yards in three seasons.
The agreement with the 25-year-old Gurley comes less than a week after the Falcons released running back Devonta Freeman. Atlanta ranked only 30th in the NFL in rushing in 2019 and are hoping for a significant boost from Gurley.
Gurley was released by the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday, minutes before $10.5m in his contract became fully guaranteed.
Gurley has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in three of his five seasons with the Rams. He ran for 857 yards in 15 games with the Rams last season. His average of 3.8 yards per carry was the second-lowest of his career.
Gurley, a 2015 first-round pick, signed a four-year, $60m contract with the Rams in June 2018, making him the league’s highest-paid running back at the time. The deal included $45m in guaranteed earning. Gurley was cut before even playing the first year of that extension.
The agreement with Gurley is the second significant move of free agency for the Falcons. The team addressed another pressing need by agreeing to a $48m, three-year deal with outside linebacker Dante Fowler on Wednesday. Fowler is expected to boost the team’s pass rush, a chronic weak spot.